Meet an Ultimate No Meat Athlete- Vegan

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Healthy Beach Girl’s Guest Blog

Featuring one of my local favorite inspirations Vegan Health and Body

with Nichele McDonald and Julie Watkins!

You know that I believe everyone should eat right for their body type and lifestyle. If your choice is to be vegan, know that it takes an effort in conscious eating habits to support  your active lifestyle.  Vegan Fitness is not my speciality so I want to share my favorite local inspiration!  I love what VHAB has to share! Check it out!

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Why You Should Be A No-Meat Athlete!

VEGAN HEALTH AND BODY

Tell anyone you are vegan and the first question they ask is, “Where do you get your protein?” Even though there has been no reports of protein-deficiencies reported in vegans, this myth about protein continues. Protein will be one of the easiest things your body will get when eating a plant-based diet. Just remember some of the biggest, strongest animals (i.e. elephants, gorillas, hippopotamus, rhinoceros) are herbivores and they never worry about their protein content in plants.

THE SKINNY ON PROTEIN

Many professional and Olympic athletes don’t eat meat, but people still believe you need meat to build muscle mass. The standard American diet mainly consist of calorie-dense processed foods, but whole plant foods which are substantially lower in calories will allow you to eat more volume to feel satisfied. Oats, fruits and nuts are great breakfast options to energize you for your morning workout and get your metabolism going.  

Calorie for calorie, veggies pack more protein than most meats. For instance, 100 calories of steak has 5.4 grams of protein, but 100 calories of broccoli has 11.2 grams of protein. Yes, athletes need more protein than non-athletes. But we also need more carbohydrates and fat since our overall caloric needs are much higher because we burn so much energy in our training. This equates to roughly 10-15 percent of your total calories. Vegetarians and vegans easily get this amount of protein. 

WHERE TO START

Starting with a healthy breakfast is good for your waistline, research shows those who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight and more likely to be within their ideal weight range compared with breakfast skippers. If you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to reach for high sugar and fatty snacks mid-morning. You will get the energy you need from foods such as oatmeal and maca powder, mental clarity and focus from the yerba mate, and weight management from the goji berries and almonds. So many great foods are at our fingertips and building your diet around the most potent, nutrient-dense, disease-fighting, muscle-growing foods around is extremely important and easy to do!

BUILDING MUSCLE

To build muscle, you must consistently do resistance type exercises and eat enough calories to allow muscle repair and growth. A portion of those calories must consist of amino acids which are in a well-rounded plant-based diet that we lay out in our VHAB program. If you burn 2000 calories per day and you only eat 1500 calories then you will be at a deficit and will not build muscle. 

Think of your body as a well-oiled machine and as long as you are getting a good mix of the foods mentioned above then it will work at its optimal performance. When you start adding in processed, sugary foods you begin to break the body down which results in illness, weight gain and fatigue.

RECOVERY IS KEY

After a workout and to help with muscle recovery you should include a mix of starchy vegetables, grains, legumes, lentils, brown rice and green leafy vegetables. Your body should not feel tired and drained if you are getting enough of these foods throughout the day. Also, listen to your body…your appetite will guide your nutritional needs, but don’t confuse this with eating when you are bored or just because there is food around! Eat when you are hungry. 

MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH

Here are a few daily detox tips that will be a huge benefit to your overall health…

Drink a Warm cup of water with juice from lemon every morning. You can add hot tea to this! *Great for flushing the lymphatic system, cleansing unwanted bacteria,  detoxing and weight loss.

Take a Probiotic

Improves Digestive Functions Improves Liver Function

Decrease Toxicity

Decrease Allergies

Improve adrenal function

Increase Energy

Improve Sleep

Decrease Acid Reflux

Decrease Bloating and Gas

Improve absorption of Nutrients and Minerals

Drink caffeine free organic hot tea at night for enhanced digestion. 

Take a bath at night with Epsom Salt and Lavender oil. It is great for releasing toxins and relaxation. 

Drink lots of water. All day. Always carry it with you!

Last but not least… make the best choices you can and treat your body good! Taking on a completely holistic approach to your health and wellness will empower you from the inside out.

Don’t forget – abs are made in the kitchen! 

~Peace & Love~

Nichele McDonald & Julie Watkins

Vegan Health & Body

VeganHealthandBody.com

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